Graduation Speech: You ALL Have What it Takes

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The past three years I sat over on my left, drenched in this scorching gym, playing Pomp and Circumstance on my tenor saxophone until I thought my lungs were going to explode. Well, we had to stay and watch the rest of the graduation, during which I would usually space out, and sometimes think to myself "It is taking so long to get up on that stage." Lots of us felt this way even last week, bombarded with the last group of projects and assignments that seem to cram themselves into an astonishingly small amount of time.

Finally, the Class of 2012 is about to enter what some fool once called the real world. Shockingly enough, classmates, from what I've heard, the real world looks almost the same as the one here. There are things to like and dislike, freedoms and restrictions you might grumble over, and people of integrity and deceit. But we will not be surrounded by three-foot slabs of brick everyday. And if upon leaving you find people trying to make houses out of mud and sticks, it is not a Western Civ movie. You are probably staring at very poor people, so help them out.

Before going any further, I strongly advise all my classmates to thank their families tonight. This is our class's last night together, but quite soon it will be our last night as a member of our parent's permanent households. I am going to take my opportunity right here. Mom and Dad, Tom and Jess, thanks for all the encouragement, support, and most important love and affection you have shown me every day. Without you, I am quite sure I would not be standing here and quite possibly might not have graduated tonight. Because of my great family, I have successfully overcome all sorts of downturns in eighteen short years. I figured I would not shy away from saying this in front of a crowd if I wrote it down in my speech, so, to my family—I love you.

To succeed in this "real world," we all need to develop our own unique niche. I say this, but I realize it must be done in actions, not words. I confess I have no idea what mine will be. I have not even figured out what general area of interest I wish to explore.

This indecision, which I am not alone in experiencing, is made all the more complicated by the era we are entering.

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